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The Practice of Silence
Boredom as Superpower
I hope that the start of March is going well. Here in Greensboro the Red Buds are beginning to bloom and our backyard is filled with the birdsongs of Eastern Bluebirds, Northern Cardinals, the Tufted Titmouse, American Crows, Eastern Towhees, and so many new friends whose names I’m trying to learn. I am working to slow down and pay attention to the More than Human community that surrounds us and it’s been quite a delightful discovery.
Today in our Newsletter, I share a few posts that I’ve written over the past week about a class I’m teaching on silence, a surprise I got in the mail, and a story about how an unexpected gift became an important influence for me.
Thanks for reading,
Haw River Watershed (Greensboro, NC)
Fresh on Gathering In Light
What would happen if we worked on the skill, our willingness, even our courage to get bored today? To be quiet without the flash of the screen, the ding of a notification, or the dopamine hit of a “like?” What if we saw boredom, or a regular, sustained stillness as a practice of resistance that could reclaim our lives and attention and perhaps our sanity?
I got some mail that surprised me - a letter and some zines!
The four zines Natalie sent me:
A Quiet Quaker Gets Loud – About Natalie’s experience of Shapenote Singing
Pickles: A Stuffed Gorilla with a Consent Culture Ministry
Let’s Be Friends: Meet the Unprogrammed Quakers through 3 Radical Beliefs and 3 Countercultural Practices
Tools for Spiritual Wayfinding: Betsy Kenworthy Quaker Nomad
A little story about connections, influence, and a sweet gift from an unexpected source.
Read more: A Little An Aside About The Quaker Nomad
Read, Watch, Find: Links from Around the Web
Check out Natalie Ramsland’s Zine newsletter: Fold in the Light
Martin tells a little of his history of Zine-making.
The Original Star Wars Trilogy Adapted into a 14-Hour Radio Drama by NPR (1981-1996)
Speaking of Boredom: Luddite Teens Don’t Want Your Likes.
The Tao of Rick Rubin - Podcast
Robin Wall Kimmerer — The Intelligence of Plants
Community Happenings (Announcements)
For anyone going to FGC this year: Register for Natalie Ramsland’s FGC Workshop - Zines as Spiritual Practice
I will be leading a workshop at the FWCC Section of Americas later this month. I’m looking forward to Friends visiting North Carolina from all over the section.
A Final Thought
We stop at the dry cleaners and the grocery store and the gas station and the green market and Hurry up honey, I say, hurry hurry, as she runs along two or three steps behind me her blue jacket unzipped and her socks rolled down. Where do I want her to hurry to? To her grave? To mine? Where one day she might stand all grown? Today, when all the errands are finally done, I say to her, Honey I’m sorry I keep saying Hurry— you walk ahead of me. You be the mother. And, Hurry up, she says, over her shoulder, looking back at me, laughing. Hurry up now darling, she says, hurry, hurry, taking the house keys from my hands.
Thank you for reading.
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